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M*A*S*H and the Vietnam War

Was M*A*S*H trying to show a lighter side to the Vietnam War?

What issue did the T.V. sit-com called M*A*S*H try to address? Why were shows like this often condemned by the religous right?

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You have to see M*A*S*H in the context of its times. The movie, which is much funnier than the sitcom, came out in 1970, at the depths of disillusionment with Vietnam. Although MASH is set in Korea, it quickly became associated with Vietnam. What struck viewers about the movie was the utter folly of the war, the tragic losses, and the way the two doctors screwed around, defied orders, and mocked the military. This irreverence, in stark contrast to World War II and all the movies and TV about it, mirrored what millions of Americans were beginning to feel about the military. In 1970, we were clearly losing in Vietnam, lives were being lost in abundance, and no one in uniform seemed to know what the hell they were doing. The military's ...

Solution Summary

The author explains how M*A*S*H, as both TV sitcom and movie, tapped anti-military sentiment during and after the Vietnam War, marked a change in American attitudes toward the military, and was soon supplanted by more pro-military movies in the 1980s.

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